Rather than bury this in a serious discussion thread on Katie's Dear John post i thought it might be kind of fun to make it a response to her Dear John letter.  Please understand it's for fun...sort of.


Dear Katie,

Thank you so much for your letter.  It is at least nice to know that you are well and something bad had not happened to you. I respect your position and your budget constraints.  Actually the reason for my call was three fold.  I really wanted to discuss all this with you over lunch as i value you as a person but after receiving your nice letter it seems you are very busy and being hounded by lots of recruiters so i will respond in kind.


First, i am glad that we are on the same page.  After having worked my heart out for you in the past, i want you to know how much i have appreciated your business and have been delighted that we were able to place several people with your company who are still there and in fact have been promoted.  It is always rewarding for us to know that we were able to assist in helping build a company with top people.  Which brings me to the second reason for my call.


As a recruiter who has worked with you in the past we of course signed an agreement not to recruit directly or indirectly any employees of your company.  We have been happy to honor that agreement, however we are receiving a high level of calls from current employees of your company who with the economy improving want to make a change.  Rather than engage them behind your back i wanted to discuss with you that since you no longer need our services and are doing good things with google and the SM crowd, i am sure you no longer have expectations that we not work with your employees or anyone at your company they may refer to us.  Certainly  we do not want to besmirch our reputation as honorable due to you finding new and cheaper ways to meet your goals.  We understand budgets. 


 It had also become difficult to work with your internal recruiters as they did not return calls and seemed to be sitting on resumes from recruiters while trying to fill positions that you had listed with us without having to pay a fee so were not putting our resumes throught to your hiring managers.  All understandable when money is tight but frustrating as you can imagine when we were trying to do our very best to provide top candidates and asked only that our candidates be considered along with those your recruiters received since you did list the position.  But let bygones be bygones.  The relationship had become strained from our point of view also but we are never quick to throw relationships to the wind just because things got a little difficult.  Times change and we never know what the future will bring so loyalty is never under valued from our standpoint.


The third purpose of my call was to let you know that we have been approached by one of your competitors who want to retain us to do some senior level recruiting.  As we have given you preferential treatment in the past and did not work with your direct competitors as we felt there might be even a small perception of conflict of interest i also wanted to be sure you were aware that since you no longer need us there should be no such perception and i know you will wish us well.  In line with that new relationship this client is looking for a Sr. level person with your background.  As i have worked with you in the past and found you to be an effective professional on all levels i wanted to speak with you about the position before i launced a full search. 


Based on your letter it seems however that you feel cold calls are a thing of the past and social media is the total solution.  Unfortunately this search is a confidential one so will only be discussed with potential candidates who will be called as you say, "out of the blue".  I did want to give you the option to discuss or possibly refer someone but being unable to reach you and receiving your letter i will certainly accept it as a rejection and wish you well in finding another position within your company that will meet your desire for career progression.


By all means, let's hang out some time.  Just because our past relationship was no longer of value to you does not mean there is anything wrong with either of us.  As adults we both know it's never good to burn bridges or loose opportunities over something as silly as a call not being returned.  Give me a call if things do not work out for you in the future.  If i do not have too many candidates calling as the economy starts to boom i will certainly return your call..or at least drop you a note.


Love and kisses,



P. S.  My number is oi812, if you get my voice mail please leave a message.

Views: 367

Comment by Nate Fischer on April 28, 2011 at 1:46pm

Never say never folks.  That's my mantra.  There are those who swear that they won't take calls from anyone in a cold calling nature, if they need someone, they will rely on their networks to find new folks???  Seriously, you are putting the dubious responsibility of finding an excellent agency on the shoulders of your friends and networking pals?  


Just remember agencies who are calling you on the phone to talk to you about your business model (if done appropriately) are going to end up charging you less money than those who are fancy, have glitz, have 14 offices located around the country, and spend MILLIONS of dollars advertising, or buying a booth at your those precious networking opportunities.  


Just food for thought.  If everyone is about elevator pitches, it doesn't hurt to spend 1 minute on the phone and give respect to someone who may possibly deserve it.  I'm the applications manager as well as one of the lead recruiters for a small firm here in the states, and I always give at least 1 minute to anyone who calls, if they waste my time, its one minute, and it might be a funny story for later.  But sometimes that "cold call" led to a great improvement and a Applicant Tracking System that we would have NEVER considered five years ago.  

Comment by Suzanne Levison on April 28, 2011 at 1:52pm
Comment by Matthew Murr on April 28, 2011 at 1:53pm

All of these letters and repsonses bring up a lot of good points, both Katie, Barbara, and Sandra even though hers does take it a step further into saying that since you don't need me, now I can start calling your employees.  I understand that isn't really what she meant....only what it sounded like.


There are really good recruiters out there.  I have been on both sides, corporate and agency, now I am on the RPO side.   However; there are real Recruiters and then there are Resume pushers.    A real Recruiter gets to know the client, they learn what type of candidates the company is looking for, and they don't need to call every week asking what is going on and are there any reqs that they can work on.   They are a partner of the company. 


It is the resume pusher recruiter that gives the real Recruiters a bad name.   They have no idea what your company does (even though they say they do), they don't know what type of employee will fit in your organization, and they believe in quanity of reqs they work on and quantity of resumes they send to you (even though none of them are on target), but that is how they work.   They will call just to get a new req.  They will work on anything and everything.   Send you 10 - 15 resumes per position.  They found the key words in the resume and think they are all a perfect fit and don't really think you as the internal recruiter know what you are talking about when you decline the resume.   I have been told, that corporate recruiters are recruiters that couldn't hack it in the agency or headhunting side.   I totally disagree.  Anyway, that was off topic.


So the bad recruiters give the really good ones a bad name.    Corporate recruiters get so many calls from agencies that are asking for a req to work on and have a candidate that is a perfect fit for your position (even though the only thing they read about the position was the Description on your website), that the one recruiter out of the 42 phone calls gets over looked because all of the recruiters just looking for a req.  


There are both types of recruiters out there and both are successfull for different reasons.  One works on quanity and others work on quality and relationship.   Companies work with both types as well and are successful with their recruiting initiatives.


For a corporate recruiter it is tough to weed through.   Trust me, I am not going to listen to 42 messages from recruiters, let alone call them all back.   Real Recruiters will find a way to differentiate themselves.   How about not asking to work on a req in the first 5 minutes of a conversation?  


I am open to everyones thoughts and I may be missing something, but for every really good recruiter, there are 5 bad ones.   I could be wrong.

Comment by Ruben Rabines on April 28, 2011 at 1:55pm

Great letter Sandra, and I really understand Katie's concern, but this is how it is. I just got a phone call form one of our hiring managers not too happy with his company and gave me his resume. We always have to be connected somehow, you never know what could happen tomorrow, and we always have to be networking.

Comment by Matthew Murr on April 28, 2011 at 1:55pm
Don't get me started on the "Golden List" or Vendor List.    Why is someone going to turn away a great candidate, possibly the perfect candidate because I am not on your list.  Crazy.  I bet your competitor will want the candidate.
Comment by Tami Brittain on April 28, 2011 at 2:01pm
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2011 at 2:08pm

thanks Thomas there are valid points from both sides.


@Ed While that is true, it really is not a reason to use a recruiter.  There are companies who will throw a few job orders for things they really do not want to fill or can't be filled at a recruiter just to get them to sign an agreement not to recruit their employees.  That is the flip side of the "buyer or supplier" motto.  I don't think most good recruiters target a company who won't use them.  We simply try and find the best candidate for a position and we don't recruit from companies we work for unless they ask us to outplace someone in the event they prefer not to put that person in the position of being on the street.  Many CPA firms ask recruiters to outplace 2 and 3 year people who are just not a fit for public accounting but may be great for industry and will champion their former employer if they are outplaced as opposed to being told to hit the bricks.

Comment by Matthew Murr on April 28, 2011 at 2:19pm
Ruben.   I am sure you got that call from the hiring manager because you built a good reputation with the client and not because you sent him a weekly email or made a weekly phone call asking what positions can you work on for them.    You probably have built the relationship and built a level of trust.   This is what a lot of recruiters are missing.   They don't care about you or the company.  They want the reqs to work on. 
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2011 at 2:33pm

@ Nate Oh so true.  I watched a company spend over 2million dollars on several big name retained firms a few years ago.  They made two hires out of all the positions they paid them to fill.  The problem was not the candidates the big name firms sent, it was a couple of hiring managers who bombed every candidate they saw.  The big name didn't give a rip they got paid.  Both hiring managers are gone and the company blew their recruiting budget all to hell.  They won't use the big names again and now they are fighting to fill positions and have no budget for even contingent recruiters because they blew it so badly.


@Matthew you are correct.  The thing is they make ice cream in 31 flavors and if no one liked pistacio nut or ever bought it there would only be 30 flavors.  Inexperienced, dumb recruiters who only look at key words both external and internal should have to go work in the call center in my opinion but nobody asked me my opinion.  If nobody used them they wouldn't be around long.  So who is using them.  That's who i am after.  I feel the pain of the HR person or internal recruiter who gets hammered with dumb ass calls all day long.  Why not have a voice message that says, "If you are a recruiter who wishes to work with our company please email information about your company along with 5 references to recruitingcoordinator@xyz.com.  Then take a look at what you get to see if there is a good recruiter you might want to speak with in all the junk you get.  Even a blind pig can find a truffle once in a while.  I'll tell you who i blame for all the lame calls that are being made. 
Agency owners who are living in the 70's beating a bunch of inexperienced kids over the head to make a quote of calls a day or die.

Comment by Mat von Kroeker on April 28, 2011 at 2:39pm

Apples & Oranges arguement and/or discussion.  Let's turn this around from the recruiter's perspective. 

First:  Cold calling is very effective to a large portion of the business community or companies would not employ telemarketers/recruiters to make "100 calls a day" quotas.

Second:  The last company I worked with, generated from a cold call, was so difficult to work with with respect to the job description, skills required to fill the position, consistantly insulting in candidate feedback, terrible communication, etc.  The last phone call we recieved from the client was a desperate plea to re-interview and make offer's to the more than qualified candidates we had supplied--- with all candidates turning down the position. 

In short--- cold-calling can work very effectively--- as long as there's due diligence to servicing the position and good customer service follow-up.  Yet for every "bad recruiter" out there-- there's an equal and opposite proportion of "bad clients" as well.

Katie---  A well versed "We do not work with recuiter's or third party vendors." on the end of your voicemail is very effective.


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